I wanted to start a series that allowed Black women to share their feelings and experiences during COVID-19. It’s no secret this virus is killing Black people at an alarming rate. While watching the news I noticed the absence of Black women’s voices.
We are being hit hard and from every angle, some of us feel alone and feel like nobody understands. It’s my hope that this series will bring us together.
Each installment features a Black woman, I ask the same three questions to each woman featured, and after they answer they share their day.
There is no format to how their day will be shared, some will read as a venting session, some will be poems, and some will read like a list of daily activities or a journal entry. These entries are meant to be a safe space where Black women can freely express themselves.
Date: April 11, 2020
Name: Bria Felicien
Occupation: Podcast Producer/Sports Writer
Sharee: How do you feel today?
Bria: Today is an off day, so I feel fine for the most part. But it’s not an accurate reflection of how this time has been for me: stressed out. I grew up in Louisiana, so that’s where most of my family, friends or college classmates are right now.
There’s just been so much death happening, close to home. Everywhere. Coronavirus related or not. But there’s been births too. So, I’m feeling a lot of things. But today, I have a little bit more control of the information that I take in and I’m enjoying that.
Sharee: What have you learned about yourself since the quarantine?
Bria: Quarantine has reminded me of the things I care most about and the things that I don’t care about at all. And the things I can easily live without.
Sharee: What do you hope changes once the world is up and running again?
Bria: There are things that I hope change, though I have no faith that they actually will, are somewhat similar to before. They’ve just been amplified through the pandemic: How humans treat other humans (including public-facing workers and the homeless) the U.S. health care system and health care access being attached to jobs, especially given the rate at which they’ve been cut since the pandemic hit the U.S.
There are a thousand more things like this I wish would change, but I have no faith that they will. This place is a mess, I could write about this all day. On the other hand, I do want the spread of misinformation to change. I want people to question more the person who shared that information and why/how they would know, at the least.
I think that’s actually something that is doable, from the “that’s flat out not true” to the “actually, that’s not quite what happened” or “that’s not how that works” type of information, whether it’s on social media or wherever without context or full truth.
A Day In The Life Entry:
The time I wake up depends on how late I stayed up watching TV. My sleep schedule is completely thrown off, but for the most part no matter what time I went to bed I’m up by 9 or so.
9-ish: When I wake up, I’ve been guzzling water and tea before I make coffee. I’ve been feeling super dehydrated, and I think it’s because I bounce between sleeping too much and not sleeping enough. The first month of staying at home, I ate terribly. Just awful. Now, oatmeal is my go-to breakfast again. Of course, my schedule changes based on the priority of what I need to get done, but this is about it.
Throughout the day: I have been documenting my range of emotions and thoughts in my notes app as a way to document and to just feel better.
10-ish: I make coffee and start working, which includes catching up on the news. I do take breaks when it gets to be too much, but since one of the podcasts I produce is a news and politics show, I have to know what’s going on.
Throughout the day: FaceTime my family members, it’s mostly been my mother, sister, grandma.
12-ish: By now, I’ve recorded whatever podcast interviews or segments I’ve needed to. I honestly just eat when I’m hungry (when I have to).
Throughout the day: Listen to an audio book. I haven’t been listening to any podcasts other than the ones I make. Right now I’m listening to Zora Neale Hurston’s Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, I really like it. Before that it was Sabrina & Corina (very sad). I stopped listening to music for the most part, but I think when I go back it’ll be classics. Like, when I listen to Jhene Aiko’s Chilombo in two years, do I want to think about this time? Nah.
3 to 4-ish: Edit any podcasts, do any miscellaneous tasks, emails, etc. Make any scheduling plans. I also use this time, if I finished everything else, to work on any sports stories. Once or twice a week at this time I go on a walk.
5 or 6-ish: Try to log off. I never liked working from home before this, not necessarily to get things done but it’s harder because it’s harder to log off. I’m grateful to have a job but also thinking, will I lose my job on the other side of this? Am I working hard enough, spending enough time creating meaningful things in order to be safe long term? No one is irreplaceable.
Evening/night time: I write about basketball in the evenings for a different website, so anything that I want to write about, I do it then. If I feel up to it. I also try to write about fiction then, if I feel up to it. I’ve noticed easier to write basketball articles (don’t really have to be creative) than it is to write a fiction story during this pandemic. That’s always been the case when I’m stressed.
There was a point early on (which was probably last week) when I thought, “How am I supposed to have a side hustle during a pandemic?” It’s hard enough doing the job I get paid to do. I’m grateful that my income doesn’t depend on being truly creative, because I have never been the type to create anything interesting during times of stress.
Either I can’t see how good it is or it’s just plain bad. I’m thinking about this now 22k story that’s… nah. I have written the hell out of an essay with the working title “Instagram is hell during a pandemic,” though.
More evening/night time: A couple of the highlights of my days have been making coffee, listening to audiobooks and watching good TV. Right now I’m still getting deeper into Korean dramas, and I’m watching Hotel Del Luna, which is so good so far. Of course they can be hit or miss, so when I’m feeling desperate for something comforting I watch Living Single or Psych.
If you are a Black woman and want to share your day, fill out the form HERE.